How Businesses Can Drive Above Par Diversity Initiatives

ERIC SPERLING, HOST

Transformational Leadership from Community Conversations

Despite the spotlight placed on systemic racism over the past year, workplace diversity is declining. 

Community Collaborative brings leaders from communities across Arizona together to have conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). The goal of the series is to create a first-of-its-kind inclusion index to hold businesses and organizations accountable for DEI progress. 

There’s a disconnect between the words and actions of executive leadership across all industries in every state. But, of all industries, golf is an exemplar model of how to change ideas into conduct. 

In this episode STN producers and featured guests from the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA), the Gen-Z Council and Topgolf discuss actionable ways to cultivate change in golf. 

" I think, especially with younger kids starting golf, when they start anything they want to see other people that look like them playing that sport or getting involved. So, when you don’t see people that are like you or have things in common it can make you uncomfortable and you may not want to play it."

Abigale Morris, Golfer and gen z council member Tweet

Make Diversity Visible

Morris is a council member of the newly formed Gen Z Council, which is a diversity coalition made up of junior golfers. Their goal is to promote the inclusivity of golf by changing the mindset of what golf culture is, to bring more players to the sport. 

Morris, who plans to play golf in college, says that diversity has improved since she started playing golf when she was 12 years-old. When she moved to Arizona her parents put her in a Junior Golf Association (JGA) tournament and she’s been playing consistently ever since. 

“It was rough, but for some reason I stuck with it,” says Morris. She says she’s most drawn to the sportsmanship aspect of the sport, and the focus on “character building.” She also mentions that the landscapes of courses and scenic backdrops she experiences when she visits courses across the country are a pretty strong draw to the sport too. Morris wants people to know that there are so many different ways to play golf. It can be as much of a family and leisure sport as it is a competitive one. 

“I love to combine what is happening in your real life with what we are trying to teach. We want to blend that content with real, everyday life. There’s no better way to do that, to really deliver education and encourage people to have dialogue with each other so that it is, what I would call, ‘up front and now’ and personal to you. That personal aspect is really what makes it meaningful.”

Linnet Carty, Director of Inclusion and Community Engagement, PGA of America Tweet

Blend Real Life with Education

Carty is a self-described “Blacktina,” since she has Cuban and Jamaican parents. She believes that this heritage gives her an edge in understanding the range of DEI issues and perspectives. 

“I’m responsible for educating the 29,000 PGA professionals across the country along with the 300 staff,” says Carty. She explains that the PGA has made a trackable effort to include all communities — minority, women, veteran, LGBTQ, disabled  — in opportunities. For example, the organization has a “vendor inclusion” initiative that looks to local, diverse businesses of different sizes to fulfill needs for their events in different cities. Carty also manages many community engagement and education efforts. 

 “Most of my sessions include things like exercises, video clips and a lot of interaction, which is what you need for people to really have the opportunity to exercise their dialogue muscle and be able to navigate not only what is happening professionally, but also what is happening socially.”

Full transparency. . .

We are proud to say that the Community Collaborative is sponsored by some of Arizona's leading mission-based organizations.
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

MORE STORIES